A Week in Review: 8/10/14 – 8/16/14

Aug. 12, 2014

Electrical engineering’s Giebink receives Air Force Young Investigator Award Giebink’s proposal, titled “Complex index and nonlinearity modulation in organic photonic composites,” aims to develop a new class of optical materials made from small molecules and polymers that control the flow of light in photonic integrated circuits to enable unidirectional properties and efficient frequency conversion. http://news.psu.edu/story/322647/2014/08/12/academics/electrical-engineerings-giebink-receives-air-force-young

Aug. 13, 2014

New material could enhance fast and accurate DNA sequencing
Now, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have found that nanopores in the material molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) could sequence DNA more accurately, quickly and inexpensively than anything yet available. http://news.illinois.edu/news/14/0813nanopores_NarayanaAluru.html

A Week in Review: 7/20/14 – 7/26/14

July 24, 2014

Metal particles in solids aren’t as fixed as they seem, new memristor study shows In work that unmasks some of the magic behind memristors and “resistive random access memory,” or RRAM—cutting-edge computer components that combine logic and memory functions—researchers have shown that the metal particles in memristors don’t stay put as previously thought.
http://ns.umich.edu/new/releases/22257-metal-particles-in-solids-aren-t-as-fixed-as-they-seem-new-memristor-study-shows

July 22, 2014

Creating Optical Cables Out of Thin Air
Imagine being able to instantaneously run an optical cable or fiber to any point on earth, or even into space.  That’s what Howard Milchberg, professor of physics and electrical and computer engineering at the University of Maryland, wants to do. In a paper published in the July 2014 issue of the journal Optica, Milchberg and his lab report using an “air waveguide” to enhance light signals collected from distant sources.  These air waveguides could have many applications, including long-range laser communications, detecting pollution in the atmosphere, making high-resolution topographic maps and laser weapons.
http://umdrightnow.umd.edu/news/creating-optical-cables-out-thin-air

Birthday bash to celebrate laser inventor Charles Townes’ 99th
Only now nearing retirement – he plans to shutter his physics department office this summer, but will continue to make daily visits to his office at UC Berkeley’s Space Sciences Laboratory – Townes’ career highlights include a 1964 Nobel Prize in Physics for discovering the laser, ground-breaking astronomical research, wide-ranging admiration for his efforts to reconcile science and religion, 31 honorary degrees and 38 awards.
http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/birthday-bash-celebrate-laser-inventor-charles-townes%E2%80%99-99th

July 21, 2014

Carbyne Morphs when Stretched
Stretching the material known as carbyne — a hard-to-make, one-dimensional chain of carbon atoms — by just 3 percent can begin to change its properties in ways that engineers might find useful for mechanically activated nanoscale electronics and optics. The finding by Rice theoretical physicist Boris Yakobson and his colleagues appears in the American Chemical Society journal Nano Letters.
http://www.pddnet.com/news/2014/07/carbyne-morphs-when-stretched

Royal recognition for UQ researcher
Studies involving some of the world’s smallest creatures have resulted in one of the world’s biggest honours for University of Queensland researcher Professor Mandyam Srinivasan.
http://www.uq.edu.au/news/article/2014/07/royal-recognition-uq-researcher

July 20, 2014

Tiny laser sensor heightens bomb detection sensitivity
A team of researchers led by Xiang Zhang, UC Berkeley professor of mechanical engineering, has found a way to dramatically increase the sensitivity of a light-based plasmon sensor to detect incredibly minute concentrations of explosives. The researchers noted that the sensor could potentially be used to sniff out a hard-to-detect explosive popular among terrorists.
http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2014/07/20/plasmon-laser-bomb-detection/

A Week in Review: 6/22/14 – 6/28/14

June 27, 2014

Move over, silicon? New transistor material tested

For the ever-shrinking transistor, there may be a new game in town. Cornell researchers have demonstrated promising electronic performance from a semiconducting compound with properties that could prove a worthy companion to silicon.
http://news.cornell.edu/stories/2014/06/move-over-silicon-new-transistor-material-tested

June 24, 2014

Metal particles in solids aren’t as fixed as they seem, new memristor study shows

In work that unmasks some of the magic behind memristors and “resistive random access memory,” or RRAM—cutting-edge computer components that combine logic and memory functions—researchers have shown that the metal particles in memristors don’t stay put as previously thought.
http://ns.umich.edu/new/releases/22257-metal-particles-in-solids-aren-t-as-fixed-as-they-seem-new-memristor-study-shows

June 23, 2014

Brain Reaction: Is a Urine-Powered Fuel Cell Car in Your Future? http://www.mmi.org/brain-reaction-urine-powered-fuel-cell-car-future/

Two Engineering professors earn distinguished professor rank

Two professors from the University of New Mexico School of Engineering have been promoted to the title of distinguished professor.
http://www.soe.unm.edu/latest/jan-june14/two-engineering-professors-earn-distinguished-professor-rank.html

A Week in Review: 4/20/14 – 4/26/14

April 24, 2014

Peacock mantis shrimp inspires stronger materials for airplane frames, armor
University of California Riverside has been collaborating with the University of Southern California and Purdue University to study the peacock mantis, hoping it will provide clues to transforming the materials used not only for aircraft frames, but for military body armor, vehicle frames and more.
http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2014/04/24/shrimps-inspire-stronger-materials-for-airplanes-armor/

A Week in Review: 10/13/13 – 10/19/13

October 18, 2013

The Long Reach of Basic Research: The United States Air Force and the 2013 Nobel Physics Laureates
On 8 October it was announced that Francois Englert of Belgium and Peter Higgs of Great Britain won the 2013 Nobel Prize in physics for their theoretical discoveries on how subatomic particles acquire mass–and it was fifty years ago that the United States Air Force funded both of these eminent physicists in their search for what ultimately came to be called the Higgs Boson.
http://www.wpafb.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123367579

AFOSR Encourages International Basic Research Collaboration with Italy
Under the auspices of the US-Italy Joint Defense S&T Dialogue held in Washington, DC, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) and the Embassy of Italy jointly organized a technical exchange meeting in Arlington, VA, with the objective of exploring basic science collaborations between the US and Italy in the areas of Materials, Sensors and Applied Mathematics.
http://www.wpafb.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123367582